China: Lingering Drought, Extreme Weather, Strong Earthquake and Heavy Rain in 2013

(1) Lingering Drought; since last October

* Villagers fight against drought in SW China [CCTV; 2013-02-20]

Villagers cover plastic films on newly-planted vegetable seedlings in Jiangping Village of Siyang Township in Shangsi County, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Feb. 19, 2013. Villagers here fight against the drought through planting in greenhouses and using plastic films. (Xinhua/Liang Fuying)

* Dry spell grips Yunnan Province [CCTV; 2013-02-26]

It is southwest China’s Yunnan province, which has been suffering from severe drought for four years.

Some places haven’t seen precipitation in four months. The situation in Yilong lake, one of the major lakes in the region has caught our attention. This picture was taken in 2007, a beautiful advertisement for the place. But now, the land is bare and cracked open. Jie Bai has more details on how bad the drought is and how the locals are coping.

In what was used to be the center of the lake, wild grass now grows.

The water level used to reach here and we had to row a boat over the lake to our farmland. But now, it’s all dried up.

The water level has been dropping and is now three meters lower than four years ago, making it the driest season in three decades.

In Yuanmou County, locals say the last time it rained was four months ago. The crops are all dying.

“If it doesn’t rain, we’ll harvest nothing. Nothing will be left.”

The Red Cross has helped to build a well in the county. But with the dry spell, it was built for nothing.

In another well, at least some water can be seen. But it’s nearly been used up, too.

“Last year, the well was able to provide 12 buckets of water in one day. But we can only get eight buckets this year.”

Local residents there have to walk a long distance to fetch water this year. This has also been the practice among people in another village, just to get the little water they can use.

Li Wenying is one of them. She has to walk three kilometres to reach this thin river.

“I have to walk to the river four times to get enough water for one day. And I have to save as much water as possible.”

She along with her neighbours have to go up a slope on the way back home.

And half an hour later, “We’ll have to take a short break first. We’ve just completed a quarter of the journey.”

She and her neighbours have been doing this for three years. Villagers say the only river they have been relying on will dry up in April if the drought continues. But for now, this has been the only hope they can find.

* W. China suffers lingering drought [CCTV; 2013-03-19]

A lingering drought continues to affect large areas of western China. Decreased rainfall has lowered water supplies across the region since last winter.

Provinces including Yunnan, Gansu, Shaanxi, Henan, Hubei and Sichuan have been suffering drinking water shortages and crop failures. Southwest China’s Yunnan Province has been hit the hardest.

According to local authorities, the amount of rainfall in the first two months of this year has been less than half the usual average.

Due to the lack of precipitation, many rivers and water conservancy projects have seen their water levels drop. Over 5 million people and 1 million heads of livestock reportedly now lack sufficient drinking water, and a large amount of farmland will not yield any crops.

In response to the arid conditions, local authorities are building more water diversion projects and sending water tankers to needy regions. The central government has also earmarked 120 million yuan, equal to roughly 19 million US dollars, for drought relief.

Provinces including Yunnan, Gansu, Shaanxi, Henan, Hubei and Sichuan have been suffering drinking water shortages and crop failures. Southwest China’s Yunnan Province has been hit the hardest.

* Consequences of long drought devastating [CCTV; 2013-03-19]

BEIJING, Mar. 19 (Xinhuanet) --No rainfall expected in parched southwest for at least nine days.

Every day, Zhu Chunquan walks 16 kilometers through the mountains of Southwest China to fetch water for his family.

His village, Ziniu, in Yunnan province, has not seen a drop of rain since February.

"No one knows when the drought will end," the 48-year-old farmer said, as he looked at the dry soil.

Apart from the sale of dry apricots from his 1 hectare orchard, he has made no money this year. Some of his neighbors have gone to Kunming, the provincial capital, to find temporary work.

The drought that has crippled southwestern regions since last year has shown little sign of abating, affecting the water supplies of millions of people.

According to the China Meteorological Administration, no rainfall is expected in parched areas, including Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, for at least nine days.

Li Xiaoquan, a meteorologist for the administration, said the drought may ease when the rainy season begins in May.

This is the fourth year Yunnan has suffered a severe drought, said Kong Chuizhu, vice-chairman of the standing committee of the Yunnan people's congress, and the problem is expected to continue.

Climate models show rainfall patterns are changing, and the National Climate Center predicts a possible decrease in precipitation in the south over the next 20 years.

Although farmer Zhu said he does not believe "rainy Yunnan" will one day be dry, he has still sold all his sheep and cows since the severe drought of 2010.

As of March 7, 2.3 million hectares of land in Yunnan and Sichuan had been affected by the drought, with more than 1.5 million people and 880,000 animals facing water shortages.

About 417,800 people in Guizhou province have seen temporary shortfalls in drinking water, Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday. It added that authorities are taking measures to guarantee supplies.

In drought-hit Neijiang in Sichuan, the city weather bureau engaged in cloud seeding on Monday to induce rain.

Kong said Yunnan plans to build 400,000 cisterns every year from 2013 to 2015 to help residents store water and collect rainwater.

However, Zhou Yuping of the Lantian rescue team, an NGO that helps people affected by natural disasters and has been helping people in Yunnan fight drought for three years, said building cisterns is far from enough.

"Cisterns mainly collect rain in wet seasons (May to October), but people use the water in cisterns several months after it is collected," he said.

Building roads and water channels are what people need most, he added.

"With roads, people can go out to make a living and with water channels, water can be diverted from nearby rivers," he said.

* Drought continues to wreak havoc in SW China [CCTV; 2013-03-21]

BEIJING, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Little rainfall over the winter and into the spring has left many areas across southwest China facing a severe drought.

As of Wednesday, nearly 2.6 million people and more than 1.33 million heads of livestock in southwest Chins'a Yunnan Province were facing a drinking water shortage, the provincial Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said Wednesday.

Dry weather and rising temperatures from Feb. 18 to March 10 have expanded the drought to 15 cities and prefectures across the province.

Drought has affected the cities of Kunming, Yuxi, Chuxiong and Dali for four consecutive years, the headquarters said.

In Dabaihu Village in Yanshan County of the Zhuang-Miao Autonomous Prefecture of Wenshan, villagers need to drive 5 kilometers to buy water, as the reservoirs and ponds have all dried up.

"It costs 25 yuan to buy 1 cubic meter of water. My family is not rich, so we could only buy 400 yuan worth of water each time, but we spent almost 2,000 yuan buying water last winter. We have no idea how our lives will go on if it won't rain," said Wang Jiancheng, a villager of Dabaihu. (25 yuan is equal to about 4 U.S. dollars.)

Lingering drought has also had a grave impact on western parts of neighboring Guizhou Province, where more than 910,000 people, 130,000 heads of livestock and 51,400 hectares of crops have been affected.

Guizhou's civil affairs department said more than 3,000 hectares of crops will be barren due to the drought, and direct economic losses will exceed 200 million yuan.

Meanwhile, southwest China's Sichuan Province has seen the widest-reaching drought in two decades.

As of March 15, 126 counties in 12 cities and prefectures had been hit by the winter-spring drought, with 715,200 people and 789,400 heads of livestock short of drinking water, according to the provincial drought relief office.

Relevant departments in those provinces have taken action to ensure people's water supplies, protect crops and reduce economic losses.

* Drought affects 23 million in China [CCTV; 2013-03-29]

A drought that has lingered since last October has affected 23.7 million people living in Yunnan, Gansu and Sichuan provinces to date, causing economic losses of more than 1.1 billion U.S dollars, according to civil affairs authorities.

The National Disaster Reduction Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Civil Affairs initiated an emergency response to the drought on Thursday and sent work teams to aid in disaster relief.

The NDRC has also organized meetings to analyze the causes of drought and work out relief measures.

Authorities said the drought may last, as heavy rain is not expected in April.

* Drought plagues most parts of China [CCTV; 2013-04-01]

Severe drought has wreaked havoc on China’s agricultural production over the past month, leading to water shortages for people and livestock in most parts of China.

Major producers for winter wheat in northern and central China are the worst-hit areas, while a delay of the rainy season across southwest China is expected to worsen the water shortage in the region.

About 7 million hectares of farmland nationwide have been affected. The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters has said that nearly 6 million people and 4 million livestock across the country are facing water shortages.

Severe drought has wreaked havoc on China’s agricultural production over the past month, leading to water shortages for people and livestock in most parts of China.

* Lingering drought affects SW China [CCTV; 2013-04-01]

A drought this intense has not been seen in more than two decades in southwest China’s Sichuan province. Facing parched farmland and scorched wheat, farmers here have in front of them a nightmare scene before the coming Spring Ploughing season.

Wheat here in previous years could grow a meter tall, now only 80 cm, and per hectare we used to get around 12,000 kilograms of wheat, but this year it will be difficult to hit 1,500 kilograms per hectare.

The statistics from the provincial civil affairs department shows more than 6 million people have been severely affected by the drought, with financial losses nearly 1.7 bln yuan in the province.

Yang Xiaobo, Analyst, Sichuan Meteorological Bureau, said, “In recent years, the Indian Ocean’s temperature has been at abnormal levels, leading to the abnormal water moisture movement, and this has lead to the drought in southwest China.

Lingering drought has also had a grave impact in China’s southwest provinces of Guizhou and Yunnan, where more than 12 million people and millions of heads of livestock have been affected.

Luo Hong, Director, Neijiang Agricultural Bureau, said, “About 80,000 hectares lands were affected, and it’s also had an impact on the growth of wheat and rape and broad beans.”

The drought will also eventually hit livestock farming as well. This cattle rancher says these animals have not had drinking water for 2 days because of the shortage.

He Shuliang, Neijiang Cattle Rancher, said, “We’ve sold a number of cattle, we have no water for these cattle, we really don’t know what to do."

He Shuliang has sold more than 200 of his 600 animals because he cannot afford to feed them. Analysts say if the drought continues it will impact the commodity and food prices.

With so many ponds like this drying up, and no adequate irrigation system in the area, ranchers and farmers have been forced to rely on water supplied by local fire trucks to feed their parched land and thirsty livestock.

* Drought hits China's Guizhou Province  [CCTV;  2 April 2013]

Large swathes of south-west China’s Guizhou Province has endured a continuous drought since last winter. Pan County in Liu Panshui City is one of the most affected areas, with drinking water supplies dwindling for both people and livestock.

One-third of the reservoirs in Pan County have nearly exhausted their water reserves, and more than one-fifth of its wells have dried up.

Safe drinking water for both the country’s residents and livestock is hard to come by.

With 80% of Pan County being mountainous, the drought has brought more trouble for those living in high altitude areas away from water sources.

Large swathes of south-west China’s Guizhou Province has endured a continuous drought since last winter.

At present, some towns and villages are relying on governmental organizations for water.

Jiang Zejin, Villager, said, "It is convenient that the government sends us water. If they don’t, we need to travel 4 kilometers to get water."

The Flood and Drought Control Headquarters in Pan County has initiated a second round of drought relief.

Safe drinking water for both the country’s residents and livestock is hard to come by.

Some towns and villages have begun construction on new emergency water projects.

Yang Xiao, Director, Pan County Water Resources Bureau, said, "After the completion of these projects, water problems will be solved for 50,000 people and 12,000 head of livestock in Pan County."

By the end of March, more than one-fifth of the crops, including wheat and rape seed were affected in Pan County.

Local authorities have been training farmers to maintain the county’s soil moisture and temperature, while guiding them to plant crops and reduce losses.

* China issues level 4 emergency on response to drought [CCTV;  2 April 2013]

China’s national anti-drought office has issued a level 4 emergency response plan to address an ongoing drought that is plaguing south-west China. Weather officials forecast that the rainy season won’t arrive until late May.

Authorities in Beijing have sent 12 teams to drought stricken areas to assist in relief work. More than 7 million hectares of farmland have been affected by the drought, 5 percent lower from the same period last year. And more than Sixteen-million dollars has been issued to help combat the drought.

A woman stands in front of a pond that is nearly empty in Shaoxin Village of Mile, southwest China's Yunnan Province, March 29, 2013. Persistent drought that sears Yunnan Province has reduced agricultural production in the city of Mile and its periphery. Some mountainous areas have even suffered from severe drinking water shortage and crop failure. (Xinhua/Chen Haining)

China’s national anti-drought office has issued a level 4 emergency response plan to address an ongoing drought that is plaguing south-west  China.


(2) Extreme Weather; March 2013

* Extreme weather kills at least 19 in China  [CCTV;  21 March 2013]

Extreme weather has battered parts of China, killing at least 19 people and damaging property in provinces including Guangdong, Hunan and Fujian. The National meteorological center is warning more rainfall is likely in southern China.

Eight people were killed and 136 others injured as a hailstorm, packing fierce wind, hit the southern Chinese city of Dongguan in Guangdong Province. Local authorities say two of the wounded sustained serious injuries. The storm hit a local multi-school complex.

According to Su Chao, Vice Principal of Oriental Pearl College, "Five students were injured, including two middle school students and three high school students."

In east China’s Fujian Province, a heavy rainstorm capsized a ferry, killing 11 people. Four others are missing and a search is continuing.

Meanwhile, people in Jingzhou county of central Hunan province saw egg-sized hailstones falling Wednesday night. The storm lasted about 15 minutes, breaking car windows.

The storm has caused heavy losses. The government has sent a work team to help with relief work.

Extreme weather has battered parts of China, killing at least 19 people and damaging property in provinces including Guangdong, Hunan and Fujian.

* S. China storm kills 9, injures 272 [CCTV;  21 March 2013]

GUANGZHOU, March 21 (Xinhua) -- A rare storm has left nine people dead and 272 injured in south China's Guangdong Province, local government said on Thursday.

The thunderstorm and hail hit Dongguan City on Wednesday afternoon, with winds of up to 176.8 km per hour and maximum precipitation of 40.6 mm, said Deng Haoquan, a spokesman for the Dongguan city government.

This was the strongest tornado to hit Dongguan since its meteorological records began, according to Deng.

As of 10 a.m. on Thursday, the storm had resulted in nine deaths and 158 hospitalizations, 11 of those in a critical condition.

The property losses are also being counted.

* 8 dead in S China storm [CCTV;  21 March 2013]

GUANGZHOU, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Eight people died and 136 others were injured after a thunderstorm and hail hit Dongguan City in south China's Guangdong Province, local authorities said Wednesday.

Two of the injured sustained serious injuries, according to the Dongguan municipal government.

Thunderstorm and hail battered the city on Wednesday afternoon, along with gales and torrential rains. Three townships were badly hit by heavy rains and strong winds, it said.

The government has sent a work team to disaster-hit areas for investigation and disaster-relief work.

* Severe Weather Strikes Southern China [Epoch Times;  22 March 2013]

Five provinces in southern China were assaulted by extreme weather, including a “super-tornado,” and egg-sized hailstones, with the onslaught predicted to continue until Sunday.

Since March 18, the provinces of Hunan, Guangdong, Fujian, Guizhou, and Jiangxi, have been suffering various disastrous weather events, according to state-run China News.

Dongguan City in the Pearl River Delta witnessed some of the most severe conditions, which flattened buildings and flipped cars, according to Guangdong Daily. Municipal authorities said there were 148 casualties with 9 deaths and 11 in critical condition, mostly due to building collapses.

A river ferryboat sank in the city of Nanping on March 20 after powerful storms struck Fujian Province, Strait News reported. Local resident Mr. Wu told The Epoch Times the next day that 11 bodies had been recovered, but 34 were still missing. State mouthpiece Xinhua confirmed the death toll, but said only four people were missing. 

A “super-tornado,” slammed Yongzou City, Hunan Province, on March 20, killing 3 and injuring 52. Mr. Tang, a college principal, told The Epoch Times that about 20 large trees on campus were uprooted or snapped in half.

More than 10,000 lightning strikes were recorded within 24 hours during widespread thunderstorms in Jiangxi Province on March 19.

The ministry of civil affairs has estimated the economic damage at 1.31 billion yuan ($210 million), according to a report by China Daily.

Drawing on the traditional Chinese cultural belief that there is a connection between natural disasters and the virtue of the ruler, netizens took the opportunity of the inclement weather to criticize the Communist Party, and argue that divine retribution is being dealt out.

A netizen from Zhejiang Province posted: “It is a time of real chaos. These abnormal events show the divine’s will. It is fate; people should take care of themselves.” 

A woman in Yunnan blogged: “Hail in March? Is this just strange weather or is it because terribly unjust things have been happening in the human realm?”

Translation Frank Fang. Written in English by Cassie Ryan.

Read the original Chinese article.

* Weather: A month of severe weather wreaks havoc across China [WeatherCast; 30 March 2013]

March 2013 may be remembered as a month of exceptionally cold weather in the UK, however it will be remembered for completely different reasons in China where no fewer than five separate bouts of severe weather have occurred. These have included torrential storms with rain, sleet, hail and thunder as well as several tornadoes, leading to high economic costs and dozens of lives lost.
Large parts of central and southern China have had an active month, weather-wise, with widespread and powerful storm activity. The storms are estimated to have damaged 106,749 acres of cropland with as much as 16,803 acres of crops completely destroyed.
A particularly powerful tornado hit Dongguan in Guangdong province on 20th March with maximum wind speeds of up to 176.8 km/h. This event alone led to 9 fatalities, 272 people severely injured and the equivalent of $209 million in damage to the economy.
While convective thunderstorms are by no means unheard of in central and southern China, they are far more commonplace during the rainy season. This takes places between the months of May and September when air pressure is low and surface heating is at its highest, giving rise to intense convection and subsequent heavy rain. For instance, average precipitation in Shanghai and Hong Kong during the month of June is 180mm and 394mm respectively, compared to just 84mm and 74mm in March. To put this into perspective, Yangjiang in Guangdong province recorded a phenomenal 105mm of precipitation in just 48 hours between 28th and 30th March.
One possible explanation for the unseasonal weather is that southern China has been predominantly influenced by southerly winds in recent weeks. When this warm and humid air from the tropics collides with the much colder, drier air from continental Asia, this instability gives the perfect conditions for the birth of powerful storms and tornadoes.
Rapid urbanisation across China is thought to be one of the main factors contributing to the severe flooding and travel disruption. Despite the fact that the torrential storms are likely to cause some localised flooding regardless of terrain, the increase in impermeable surfaces that goes hand in hand with the construction of new settlements is undoubtedly going to reduce the speed and ability of the ground to absorb the water. There are potentially more than a billion of people at risk with as much as 66% of the population situated in regions at significant threat from flooding.
Another problem in dealing with floodwater is that the number of rivers in China have halved in 60 years, limiting the natural method of flood dispersal. Also, many of China’s remaining waterways have been blocked by the authorities for the ever-increasing demand on industry and water supply for the booming population.
The Chinese authorities have an emergency response system in place which acts upon the forecasts provided by the National Climate Center to give warning to those who may be affected by imminent storm activity. However, the sporadic and fast-forming nature of convective storms means that they can only be predicted with any accuracy around 20 to 30 minutes before they break out. This doesn’t leave sufficient time for the message to reach those most at risk.
The weather across southern China is expected to remain unsettled into the first week of April with further heavy and thundery showers, sparking the further risk of localised flooding. However, it is likely to turn drier towards the weekend as air pressure builds and winds change to a cooler and drier northerly direction, bringing a light at the end of the tunnel.


(3) China 7.0 Earthquake; 20 April 2013

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Lushan county of Ya'an city in south China's Sichuan Province on 20 Apr 2013. The earthquake's epicenter was monitored near Lushan county at a depth of 13 kms.

* Earthquakes in 2013 - Wikipedia


* Sichuan Quake Relief Ops Update #01 - Aid continues amidst continui...

More aid still required at affected locations; Millennium Hotel weighs in to support and provide comfort to Mercy Relief teams in Sichuan

Sichuan, 26 April – Narrow and winding roads twirling around and across mountains with deep ravines and overhanging rock structures, are common settings which surround aid workers in their daily journeys to reach quake survivors in the worst-affected counties of Lushan and Baoxing during the acute phase of the disaster. Aftershocks and continuous wet weather posed serious menaces of landslides and mudslides.

Safety is paramount to the government relief coordinators. Conscious, constant and concerted monitoring of landslides and mudslides are carried out by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the local police department, as they redirected traffic and closed roads where necessary, to protect villagers and aid personnel. Negotiating the tricky terrains and at times having to keep in the beeline of relief trucks, the Mercy Relief (MR) teams personally delivered two batches of relief supplies including tarpaulins for shelter, food and hygiene essentials worth SGD50,000 to the affected communities at the quake’s epicenter in Lushan County. A third batch of relief supplies centering on children’s needs will be delivered before May Day.

Humanitarian spirit was evident on and around the grounds. Whilst rescue and relief workers worked round the clock, corporate entities are stepping forward to support the relief operations in ways they are well acquainted to and most effective at. The Millennium Hotel Chengdu was one, providing complimentary accommodation to the relief teams of Singapore-born MR, whose first response team arrived in Sichuan within 48 hours of the 6.6-Richter quake which occurred on 20 April.

Welcoming the support from Millennium Hotel Chengdu, MR Chief Executive Hassan Ahmad said from Lushan County, “Effective and efficient relief operations hinge on the accessibility to appropriate and ready resources, which substantially reside within the corporate domain. While cash donations are ideal as they allow aid organisations the flexibility to adapt to the ever-changing needs on the grounds, the willingness and ability of Millennium Hotel to make available its relevant resources in support of this relief efforts helps to enhance response time and reduce operations costs.”

In Singapore, MR launched a public fundraising appeal from 23rd Apr to 31st May 2013 to support its relief and recovery efforts for victims of the Sichuan quake.

* Strong quake triggers landslide in Baosheng Township, SW China [NewsXinhuanet; 21 April 2013]

People walk on rocks fallen due to the landslide triggered by a strong quake in Baosheng Township, Lushan County, southwest China's Sichuan Province, April 21, 2013. Death toll has risen to 208 in the earthquake in Sichuan as of 5:00 p.m. Sunday, according to latest statistics gathered by local authorities. A 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Lushan County at 8:02 a.m. Saturday Beijing time. (Xinhua/Zhang Xiaoli)


(4) Heavy Rain; late April 2013

* Storms heading west after killing 6 [China Daily; 2 May 2013]

Rainstorms which killed six people in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and swept central and southern areas are forecast to move west.

Torrential rain hit Guangxi on Monday and Tuesday, triggering floods and landslides.

The rain stopped in the region on Wednesday and is forecast to move west to Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan provinces on Thursday.

Some 237 towns in 18 counties across six cities in Guangxi were hit by the storms. By 5 pm on Tuesday, 425,500 people in the region had been affected by disasters caused by storms, with 17,200 transferred to safe areas from endangered homes.

Flooding destroyed 12,580 hectares of farmland and toppled 995 houses, home to 271 families, causing direct economic losses of 69.04 million yuan ($10.96 million).

"The rainfall in late April was much heavier than forecast, in terms of intensity and the area affected. Such torrential rainstorms, which often come in the typhoon season, are rare at this time of year," said Lin Kaiping, chief engineer of the Guangxi meteorological station.

Most rivers, including the Xiangjiang, Guijiang and Liujiang, rose markedly from Monday to Wednesday.

Wei Wenda, head of the Guangxi water hydrology and resources bureau, said: "It's rare for so many main rivers in Guangxi to reach warning levels before the region enters the major flood period.

"Our bureau will keep a close watch on the flood situation and issue timely and accurate flood alerts."

The National Meteorological Center and the bureau issued blue rainstorm and flood alerts for Guangxi on Sunday, the lightest in the nation's four-level rainfall and flood warning system. Six people were killed by lightning strikes, flooding and falling houses in four counties.

The heaviest rainfall of 168 millimeters was recorded in Dutou town in Lingui county, Guilin, raising the water level of the Lijiang River in the city and causing flooding in the urban area.

Guilin Liangjiang International Airport authorities said 16 flights were delayed by heavy rain on Monday and Tuesday, affecting 1,880 passengers. But all passengers had left Guilin by noon on Tuesday, as the rain stopped.

Yan Tianji, a retired resident in Guilin, said: "The water rose so fast, causing trouble for people living in lower-lying parts of the city. But it did not last long.

"As the rain stopped in the urban area, the water receded quickly, and I don't think it will affect tourism too much."

Most tourists arrive in Guilin by road or rail from neighboring Hunan, Jiangxi and Guangdong provinces. Ferry services and bamboo-rafting on the lower reaches of the Lijiang River in Yangshuo county were suspended from Monday to Wednesday, the local tourism bureau said, while most other tourist services continued to run as usual. Some 7,445 passengers visited the Lijiang River by boat on Tuesday.

The late-April rainstorms also hit Hunan, Jiangxi, Fujian, Anhui and Chongqing, causing flooding in some areas.

Although the National Meteorological Center lifted its blue rainfall alert on Tuesday for these regions, it forecast rainfall for Southwest China on Thursday and Friday, warning of thunder, strong winds and hailstones.

Intermittent rain will fall until Saturday in the earthquake-stricken area of Lushan county in Sichuan, adding to the problems in disaster relief work and reconstruction.

The rainfall will make southwestern areas more vulnerable to landslides. Authorities at various levels have been told to keep a close watch on the situation and take precautionary measures.

* Deadly east China downpours cause heavy damage [View Original] [ReliefWeb; 2 May 2013 / NewsXinhuanet; 2 May 2013]

NANCHANG, May 2 (Xinhua) -- Heavy rain has been sweeping east China's Jiangxi Province for four days, flooding crops, toppling houses and killing at least one person, local authorities reported on Thursday.

The water level in Jiangxi's main river and several reservoirs has exceeded danger levels.

More than 190,000 people have been affected by the torrential rain, according to Jiangxi's civil affairs department.

The rain has also damaged about 2,000 buildings and drenched 10,500 hectares of farmland.

Authorities estimated the extreme weather has cost farmers 110 million yuan (17.8 million U.S. dollars) in direct losses.

* Heavy rain triggers floods and landslides in S China [NewsXinhuanet; 1 May 2013]

Locals clear the debris at flood-affected Juntian Village in Shuangfeng Town of Bobai County, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, May 1, 2013. Floods and landslides triggered by heavy rain have claimed five lives while affecting more than 200,000 people in Guangxi. (Xinhua/Zhang Ailin)

* Heavy rain kills 6 in S China [View Original] [ReliefWeb; 30 April 2013 / NewsXinhuanet; 30 April 2013]

NANNING, April 30 (Xinhua) -- Floods and landslides triggered by heavy rain have claimed six lives while affecting more than 420,000 people in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the local government said Monday.

The rain, which started Monday morning, has hit multiple counties, according to a statement from the regional department of civil affairs.

The statement said landslides and building collapses triggered by the rain had killed six people and injured another 14 as of 7 p.m. Monday.

The rain has displaced 17,200 people, the statement added.

Over 12,000 hectares of farmland were affected and a total of 270 houses collapsed, it said.

An initial investigation showed that direct economic losses caused by the rain have amounted to over 69 million yuan (11 million U.S. dollars).

Local authorities are carrying out disaster relief work and relocating residents.

A rider pushes his bike in flood water in Guilin City, southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, April 30, 2013. Heavy rainfall hit Guangxi on April 29, making house damaged and causing floods and road cave-ins as well. (Xinhua/Ren Jiaxiang)

* Heavy rainfall hits China's Guangxi  [NewsXinhuanet; 30 April 2013]

* SW China storms kill 5 [View Original] [ReliefWeb; 1 May 2013 / NewsXinhuanet; 1 May 2013]

CHONGQING, May 1 (Xinhua) -- Strong gales and torrential downpours in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality have left five people dead and 39 others injured since Sunday, local authorities said.

The latest round of rainstorms has swept across Chongqing from Sunday evening, bringing precipitation of over 100 mm to some counties, according to the emergency office of the Chongqing Municipal Government.

The office said a total of 22 houses have been toppled, causing the casualties.

Local authorities said they were on alert for potential geological disasters.

* Hail storms affect 190,000 people in SW China [NewsXinhuanet; 29 April 2013]

GUIYANG, April 29 (Xinhua) -- More than 196,700 people were affected by hail storms in southwest China's Guizhou Province over the weekend, local authorities said Monday.

Since Saturday afternoon, 23 towns of five counties or cities in Qianxinan Bouyei-Miao Autonomous Prefecture of the province have been affected, said the prefecture civil affairs department.

By 7 p.m. Sunday, 9,738 hectares of farmland were affected by the storms, among which 2,825 hectares will have no harvest.

The hail storms left 2,200 houses badly damaged and nine people injured.

Local authorities are carrying out disaster relief work and relocating residents to avoid further risks. Economic losses are still being calculated.

* Torrential rain affects over 200000 in Guangxi [China Daily: 30 April 2013]

NANNING - Floods and landslides triggered by heavy rain have claimed five lives while affecting more than 200,000 people in south China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, local government said Monday night.

The rain, which started on Monday morning, has hit extensive areas including Bobai, Pubei and Ziyuan counties, according to a statement from the regional department of civil affairs.

It said landslide and house collapses triggered by the rain had killed five people and injured another six as of 7 pm.

The rain has left 207,700 people affected and over 10,000 displaced in Guangxi, the statement added.

A total of 63 houses collapsed and another 180 were damaged in the region, it said.

* 8 confirmed dead in SW China landslide [View Original] [ReliefWeb; 30 April 2013 / NewsXinhuanet; 29 April 2013]

GUIYANG, April 29 (Xinhua) -- The body of the last person trapped in a landslide in southwest China's Guizhou Province was retrieved Monday afternoon, bringing the death toll to eight after a two-day search.

The landslide, which occurred on April 27 in Mawo Village near Guizhou's Bijie City, trapped eight local villagers.

The landslide was triggered by the lingering rainfall in the region, according to officials with the Qixingguan District that administers the village.

A total of 76 people have been relocated after the landslide.

* 4 dead, 4 missing in SW China's landslide [NewsXinhuanet; 28 April 2013]

Rescuers work at the site of a landslide in Mawo Village near Bijie City, southwest China's Guizhou Province, April 27, 2013. Four villagers are confirmed dead and four others are missing after the landslide hit the village at 12:50 p.m. on April 27. (Xinhua/Luo Ji)

* 11 confirmed dead in SW China landslide [NewsXinhuanet; 24 April 2013]

GUIYANG, April 24 (Xinhua) -- The death toll following a landslide on Monday night in southwest China's Guizhou Province rose to 11 when two more bodies were retrieved on Wednesday morning, sources with the local emergency command center said.

The landslide occurred around 10 p.m. on Monday, burying construction workers who were repairing a road damaged by a previous landslide in Sinan County.

The accident also left two workers injured, one of them seriously. Both of the injured workers are now in non-critical conditions, sources said.

Search and rescue work ended on Wednesday, and scores of villagers nearby have been relocated to safety, according to the sources.

* 9 killed, 2 missing in SW China landslide [NewsXinhuanet; 23 April 2013]

Photo taken on April 23, 2013 shows the accident site of a landslide in Qinggangpo Township of Sinan County, southwest China's Guizhou Province. Nine people died, two were injured and another two were missing following a landslide that occurred at 10:42 p.m on Monday when construction workers were repairing a road damaged by a previous landslide in Sinan County. The rescue operation is underway. (Xinhua/Tao Liang)


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Comment by Tracie Crespo on August 20, 2013 at 12:39am

Death toll from weekend flooding, landslides passes 100

Comment by Kojima on May 17, 2013 at 12:32pm

33 dead, 12 missing in S China storms [View Original] [ReliefWeb; 16 May 2013 / NewsXinhuanet; 17 May 2013]

BEIJING, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Thirty-three people have died and 12 others were reported missing in the latest round of rain- and hailstorms that have swept south China, the country's civil affairs and disaster reduction authorities said Thursday.

Since Tuesday, rainstorms have triggered flooding and landslides in some places, according to sources with the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the National Committee for Disaster Reduction.

The ministry and committee both initiated a level-IV disaster relief response and sent work teams to worst-hit Guangdong Province on Thursday night.

On Thursday, the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters also dispatched two work teams to Guangdong and Jiangxi provinces to direct flood control efforts.

In Guangdong, rainstorms battered 173 townships in five cities, including the provincial capital Guangzhou, on Wednesday and Thursday, triggering heavy flooding in some areas, the Guangdong Provincial Flood Prevention and Drought Relief Headquarters said.

The water levels of some rivers in Guangdong have surpassed warning lines, and an offshoot of the Beijiang River saw the worst flooding in a century, according to the headquarters.

A total of 650,000 people in the province have been affected by the heavy rains and 2,675 houses have been destroyed.

As of 11 a.m. Thursday, 19 meteorological stations in Guangdong had reported precipitation measuring over 250 mm. Qujiang District, Shaoguan City, saw the highest precipitation, at 339.8 mm.

"The heavy rainfall in a short time and prolonged precipitation in some areas can easily trigger flooding and landslides," said Zhang Dong, a chief forecaster with the Guangdong Provincial Meteorological Station.

The rainstorms are expected to continue until Friday morning in Guangdong, then weaken before heavy rainfall returns to many parts of the province on Saturday, according to the station.

Comment by Kojima on May 14, 2013 at 4:06pm

Heavy rain in S China kills 19 [View Original] [ReliefWeb; 13 May 2013 / NewsXinhuanet; 13 May 2013]

BEIJING, May 13 (Xinhua) -- A fresh round of heavy rain hitting south China since May 6 has resulted in 19 deaths and left one person missing, according to an initial tally from local civil affairs departments.

As of 7 a.m. on Monday, continuous rain and consequent floods have affected more than 3.47 million people in 204 counties and cities in 12 provincial-level regions, with 187,000 people in urgent need of resettlement and living aid.

The information was carried in a statement released on Monday afternoon by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the National Committee for Disaster Reduction.

Citing Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and the provinces of Hunan and Guizhou as the hardest-hit regions, the statement said this round of rainfall was characterized by the large area covered and high intensity in specific regions, as precipitation in seriously hit parts topped 200 mm.

The rain has also toppled some 5,000 houses, damaged another 46,000 and destroyed 26,900 hectares of crops. Direct economic losses are estimated at 1.8 billion yuan (290 million U.S. dollars).

While giving detailed disaster management instructions for relief officials in affected regions, the ministry and the committee said they had strengthened coordination with weather, water resources and agricultural departments on information sharing and emergency responses.

Meanwhile, newly purchased relief materials including cotton tents, quilts, folding beds and sleeping bags are being transferred for distribution in disaster-hit areas.

Comment by Kojima on May 11, 2013 at 1:54am

Drought affects 3.58 mln hectares of farmland [View Original] [ReliefWeb; 10 May 2013 / NewsXinhuanet; 10 May 2013]

BEIJING, May 10 (Xinhua) -- A drought scorching China's western and central regions has affected 3.58 million hectares of farmland as of Friday, drought relief authorities said Friday.

Affected land used to grow crops totaled 2.13 million hectares, lower than the average acreage of 6.3 million hectares over the past few years, according to a statement from the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

The drought has significantly eased in Chongqing Municipality and the provinces of Guizhou, Hubei, Yunnan and Sichuan, but farmland in other regions, such as Gansu and Ningxia, is still suffering from insufficient rain, the statement said.

The drought has also left 5.54 million people and 3.99 million livestock short of drinking water, the statement said.

Local authorities have mobilized their resources to minimize the drought's effects on farming and people's lives, the statement said.

The government has allocated 7.9 billion yuan (1.27 billion U.S. dollars) to fight droughts, prevent pests, cultivate new seedlings and subsidize farmers in a bid to support ploughing in April, according to the Ministry of Finance.

Comment by Kojima on May 9, 2013 at 6:59am

Heavy rain continues to batter Hunan Province [NewsXinhuanet; 8 May 2013]

CHANGSHA/GUANGZHOU, May 9 (Xinhua) --Heavy rain in central and south China killed at least six people and left tens of thousands of people affected and much cropland damaged.

Rain-triggered floods killed three workers who were working at around 8:40 p.m. Wednesday in a sewage pipe near a bus station in Xiangtan City, Hunan Province, local authorities said, adding that the bodies of the workers were retrieved at around 10:40 p.m.

Rain started to lash 24 cities and counties in Hunan on Tuesday, killing three people in landslides Tuesday, affecting 165,000 people, toppling 300 houses, forcing the relocation of 1,600 people and damaging 14,000 hectares of crops, the provincial government said.

In Changsha, capital of Hunan, rainstorms inundated roads and houses in low-lying areas and crippled traffic on Wednesday night.

Rainstorms were forecast for Wednesday night and Thursday, while they will abate on Friday, meteorologists said. The weather is expected to clear up over the weekend.

In neighboring Guangdong Province, rainstorms have battered the west of the province and the Pearl River Delta region over the past two days, the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters said.

Yangchun City was flooded. As of 9 p.m. Wednesday, more than 26,000 people had been affected by the rain-triggered floods.

A five-year-old girl remained missing after she was washed away by flooding in Zhuhai City, the headquarters said. Search and rescue work is still under way.

It is expected that more storms will hit the west part of Guangdong as well as the Pearl River Delta region in the coming two days, the provincial meteorological department said.

Meanwhile, the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Guizhou Province were also battered by rainstorms in the past two days.

A total of 32,000 people from eight counties or districts have been affected, 360 houses toppled, and 400 hectares of crops damaged in the storms in Guizhou, the provincial government said.

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